On November 8, 2011, voters in Carbon County came out and voted for change and put fiscal responsibility and taxpayers first in our courthouse. I was proud to have supported Wayne Nothstein and Tom Gerhard as not only Republican candidates but as fine members of the community. Wayne and Tom did the hard work to visit our neighbors and talk about their positive vision of what Carbon County would be with change in our courthouse.

For weeks now we heard or read all the complaints about the campaign that former Commissioner Getz and Commissioner O'Gurek have been trying to spread through their meetings and the news media. The consistent assault of distortions and untruths just shows how clear it is that Getz and O'Gurek wanted to sweep their record under the rug. They forget that the Republican message was one of fiscal conservatism, better services and representing Carbon County values. The Republican party was able to shine the sunlight on what they have done to our courthouse and had hard facts to support for every statement that was made.

The chief defender of the status quo was Commissioner William O'Gurek and voters soundly and decisively rejected him with their voice at the ballot box. The voters' choice was not good enough for the professional politicians in our courthouse. Unfortunately, the conspiracy between Commissioners O'Gurek and Getz proved what voters rejected in November that Democrats put their personal interests over the interests of Carbon County. Never have we seen such a complete disregard for the voters' intent.

This was a missed opportunity for our county government to embrace a fresh start. Democrats could have pushed for someone that would bring something new to the table but instead they just did what they do too often, push the "same old, same old" regardless if this direction has failed. We are seeing this already as they begin to defend the failed policies of President Obama in this year's presidential election.

It is a shame that we think that this kind of backroom deal only happens in Washington D.C. or Harrisburg but this abuse of power happened right here in Jim Thorpe. This is just one more example of how things need to change in our courthouse and we need to support those elected officials like Commissioners Gerhard and Nothstein who will meet voters, do the hard work of governing and then be judged at the ballot box.

The swearing in of the unelected William O'Gurek as commissioner is a reminder of the government we have had in previous years and what kind of government he wants to continue into the future. I hope that voters will remember the fact that it was political cronyism at its worst that put Commissioner O'Gurek back in the courthouse and not the people of Carbon County. By ignoring the democratic process, the current and former Democratic Commissioners have brought a dark day to Carbon County democracy.

Respectfully submitted,

Peter Salerno, SR.

Lehighton